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Teach Them Well

securedownloadParents are children’s best teachers; how they support and reinforce what their children learn is essential to proper development. Not only as it relatates to academics, but also in valuable lessons about life. Whether in a two-parent environment or single-parent structure, children must be encouraged to see themselves as powerful, worthy individuals. This works even at the infancy stage; babies and toddlers react favorably to praise. As their level of understanding increases, it is important to elaborate on their accomplishments. This, along with rewards and discipline, helps children aspire for “greater”.

No matter what an individual aspires to be or what he or she hopes to accomplish, the values instilled during the growing years are going to play a major role in their success.

Today’s children become more independent at an earlier age; therefore, parents need to find more ways to interact with them. If this mode of parenting starts at an early age, it is less likely to be viewed in a negative manner. Sometimes children set up “walls” to avoid having to deal with parents. Such barriers should not be forcibly removed. An easier, less invasive method of communicating with children is to find common ground where you, as a parent can connect with them. It might involve learning a computer game that you and the child can play together. This is also a good way to open the lines of communication with your child. Most children love to teach adults, and adults can learn a lot from children. Allow children to take charge and teach. Sometimes bridging the “gap” can be as simple as expressing interest in a subject that he or she enjoys. In the process, you are connecting to your child in a way that will encourage positive communication.

A major role in parenting is teaching children life skills. Though it is not an easy task, most parents, somehow, manage to provide the essentials. The rest, good or bad, will likely come with experience of living and maturing.
I’ve read that birds fly in a tight formation to ensure that predators cannot get in to their group. Safety in numbers. As humans, we could learn a valuable lesson from the birds. We need to keep the lines of communication open with children. Thus, establishing a close knit formation with the family, which is a sure way to cover any areas where predators might get in to sabotage the family values.

The lessons learned as a result of good parenting can provide valuable tools that will help children grow, mature and prosper. Invest in your children’s future—teach them well.

GDR

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Reflections

imageWhen I look back over my life, I think about the great gospel song recorded by Mahalia Jackson. The song is titled How I Got Over. A line in the song says, “My soul looks back and wonders how I got over.”

When I look back over my life, there were difficult times; there were times of uncertainty. There were tears, and there were times when I did not think I could endure another day. But as I look back at those times, the thing I remember most is that I had the courage to face the difficulties, and the faith to move forward. I knew that if I continued to persevere, I would come upon a smooth path.

When I look back over my life, I can clearly see that courage, faith, and trust provided the strength I needed to make it thus far. Even though I faced adversities that I thought would stop me in my tracks. Even when I could barely see my path through the tears, I pushed forward—sometimes not sure of where I’d end up. Each hurdle came with various degrees of difficulty. Each stumble projected me forward, and after every fall, I rebounded to a higher level. Each time a door closed, a new door opened to reveal more opportunities for my betterment.

Today, my soul, mind, and spirit look back and wonder—how I got over. My heart feels that my journey was an amazing adventure filled with suspense, doubt, and fear. Yet, when I look back over my life, I see a celebration at every turn. Back then, the celebration was subtle. To be honest, the bigger celebration occurred when I looked back with a new prospective, seeking more understanding. Many things are easier to understand from a “spectator” position.

emories hold our stories; it is so important that we use those memories to look back and appreciate the good that existed in our lives. Doing so could help us to extract tools that will support us in our present and future endeavors. Each time I review my story, I find more tools for living my life, and for anticipating a bright future. As I look back over my life, I realize—life has been good. I still marvel at how far I’ve come. No matter how far my journey takes me, I think I will still look back and wonder how I got over. But one thing is for certain–I am forever grateful that I have grown to appreciate the fact that there are so many reasons why I did get over.

GDR

The Song–“How I Got Over”
Writen By Clara Ward in 1952

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Greater

imageL ast summer, while visiting my favorite recreation center, I saw the word “Greater” on a young woman’s tee shirt. The lettering was all caps and embellished in a silver metallic. Being an avid crafter, the shiny letters caught my eye immediately. I approached the young lady to let her know that I liked her shirt. She told me that her church had come up with the idea for the shirts, and that “Greater” is part of their campaign to increase their faith in the power of building greater horizons as a result of and in spite of obstacles. That brief conversation stuck with me. I felt elated and empowered. Mainly because the word “Greater” became my focus for that day. I found myself resuming tasks and projects that I had set aside because I felt they involved more effort than I had been willing to put forth.

The more I focused on “Greater”, the more empowered I felt. I quickly and effortlessly completed some sewing projects that had been left unfinished for several weeks. At that point, I decided to start a campaign of my own using the word “Greater” as my motivator.

I shared my story with my son who was about to start a new job. I hope it will inspire him to focus on the greater opportunities that come from his venture—seen and unseen. More importantly, I hope he passes the positive energy on so that others can be empowered by it.

I later shared my story with the young woman who had worn the inspirational shirt. I wanted her to know how much power I had received from seeing that single word printed on her shirt. I asked her to let the members of her church know how their project had affected me. I am certain that her fellow members will be happy to know that their campaign helped me to regenerate positivity in my life.

It is comforting to know that no matter where I am in my journey, or in my dreams, “Greater” is usually just one door away. Having the courage to hold out  until I reach that door has proven to be worth the wait every time.

So instead of focusing on the temporary setbacks, roadblocks, detours and wrong turns, I will set my personal navigation system to “Greater”–and I continue moving forward toward it.

GDR

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Trust Builds Character

EnlightenedWhen you establish and maintain good credit, you are building character.

My first credit card was obtained from a department store that I worked for. Even though I was employed by this well-known store, I was denied a credit card twice before I was finally approved. Both times the reason was that I did not have any credit history. Not only was I disappointed, but I was confused. In my mind, if I worked for the company, I should be trusted to have a credit card from them. What I did not realize at the time was, in order to obtain credit the borrower needs to have a credit history to prove that he or she can be trusted to pay back the debt. If there is no proof in your credit report to ensure that you can be trusted, it is unlikely that credit will be extended to you.

When I was approved for my first credit card, I was very excited. Not so much because I had resources for shopping, but because that credit approval represented a trust. I am proud to say, I never took that trust for granted. In fact, the approval for my first credit card was the foundation that inspired me to establish and maintain an excellent credit status. Even during difficult times, I was driven by that trust. I realized that good credit and good character go hand-in-hand.

I was prompted to write this post because I thought about a time in my life when I went through a difficult period. Fortunately for me, I met a business owner who trusted me based on my word. He ran a service station which also did automobile repairs. I took my car to him for service. The repairs I needed were extensive—more than I could afford at the time. I explained to him that I would not be able to pay for the repairs that day. He said I could bring the money to him the following week. The only information he had for me was my unpublished phone number and my word. Because of his trust, I felt empowered. That situation proved to be a great character builder for me; I realized the value of my word. I felt as though I had received an approval letter from a major lender.

Prior to settling the debt, various individuals told me I shouldn’t bother to pay for the repairs. One even said, “Why should you pay the guy? He doesn’t even know where you live.” Another friend said, “You could have gotten the repairs cheaper someplace else.” No matter what those individuals said, the only thing that mattered to me was the fact that I had given my word. I did not let those comments influence my actions.

On the day I settled my debt for the repairs, I arrived a little late. The shop had closed, but the owner was sitting outside in his car waiting for me. He knew I would not go back on my word. Because of that experience, I learned that my word is the part of my credit status that really matters.

I still am overwhelmed with pride in myself any time I recall that situation. The experience effected the way I view credit and trust. Credit standing begins with the first time you establish trust. It doesn’t matter if it involves money or merely a commitment, your word is your most solid collateral. Trust does build character—but at the foundation of that character is your word.

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A Door Opens

imageIt has been said that when one door closes, another one opens. I’ve learned that a door opens even if no door closes.

Sometimes an avenue of familiar travel suddenly requires a detour to a rocky road. For me, a recent family emergency brought me to that rocky road. Surprisingly, the detour proved to be eye-opening. The road was made smooth through the application of new vision, new light, and a new mindset. While maneuvering through my ordeal, I discovered resources that were always available, but I had not taken the time to familiarize myself with them. I also realized that the new responsibilities I had to take on fit right into my weekly schedule. That made the transition easier, and less stressful.

Even though life can change with no warning, there are usually options. The key is to avoid wasting valuable time lamenting, and digging a hole to find the “whys.” My life’s lessons have taught me to by-pass the ordeal of digging for the “whys”; I can honestly say that I am amazed at how challenging events have guided me to avenues of great opportunities. I learned to meet obstacles head-on, and use my energy to move forward toward my open door. Behind every door I’ve discovered untapped strength which I was motivated to unleash.

So, even if a door has not closed, even if your road has not become rocky; keep an open mind–a door will open. Explore the possibilities behind every door; trust that you will be guided to greater tomorrows!

Dare to explore what lies behind the open door…

-GDR

Image: GDR

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Bloom

009One definition of the word “bloom”:

the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
syn: flower, prime, peak, heyday, blossom, efflorescence, flushyday, blossom, efflorescence, flush

My favorite quotes by Mary Engelbreit:

“Bloom where you are planted”

“Happiness must be grown in one’s own garden”

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The message I get from these quotes is:

Even if you find yourself “planted” in a place where you cannot see your path, remain steadfast. Create a better you for where you are now; prime yourself for where you’re headed. Growth potential begins where you are planted–allow yourself to bloom.
-GDR

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Look for the Light

hope 2There is no darkness, only light. Change your vision to unblock the light. In a darkened space, positive thoughts renew the spirit, and bring forth a new outlook.

Sometimes we, purposely, close out the light . We find it is easier to remain in our downhearted state. But if we think about it, many of us know that grief, roadblocks, and misfortune sometime illuminate a path we never thought we’d travel. That light, though blinding for a moment, often guides us to an inner strength that had not been revealed before.

Even if the path is obscure, keep moving forward. Adjust your vision as you go–you’re headed toward better.

I marvel at how much light can be obtained from a bleak situation. For me, allowing my thoughts to carry me away from a downhearted state of mind triggers that light. At that moment, the choice is mine–with a renewed vision, I move Forward.

Choose to see the light.

Gdr-2015

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Who’s Minding Our Rights?

013No matter what the cause, the struggles put forth to defend a cause is what will be remembered. This thought came to mind after I listened to the comments made by Common and John Legend as they accepted their Oscars for the song Glory. The two wrote the song for the movie Selma; they received an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Winning the award was, no doubt, a momentous occasion for both performers, but each took a moment to remind us that there is still work to be done in the struggle for equality. It was an emotional moment for me because, not only did these two young men acknowledge the struggle that had taken place almost 50 years ago in Selma, Alabama; they recognized the need to build and strengthen equality bridges today. John Legend further reminded us that the responsibility lies with each of us to continue the struggle that Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders started. His comments were strong and factual; they were fused by genuine emotion. His speech was the highlight of the Oscar ceremony for me.

Some of the recent events that have occurred involving Blacks losing their lives at the hands of individuals who were not held accountable have left me shaking my head. I can’t help but feel that the life value of Blacks is depreciating at a fast pace. The struggle put forth to obtain equal rights in the past has brought us to an era where those rights no longer appear to apply. Remembering the struggle is not enough, we need to continue to fight for equality because little by little our space in this society is being diminished.

The bridges we struggled to cross to gain equality have being compromised. In other words, it appears that we need to keep going back to the original battle ground to fight for turf we thought had already been acquired. Sadly, as we move forward we discover that some of the rights we thought had been won are still in jeopardy.

Going back to Selma, and other places where blacks fought, endured pain, and even died serves as a reminder to us that the struggle must remain a part of our agenda. For certain it is each generation’s responsibility to mind our rights just as the shop owner minds the goods in a store; for, the shoplifters of equality seek to rob, steal, and destroy the rights that were won at a great cost.

Heartfelt thoughts to those who were part of the struggle to get laws passed that opened doors for Blacks in America; now, many years later, Black Americans still find themselves waiting in line to get stamped and approved for those rights.

The rights obtained in our yesterdays have opened many doors for today. It is our responsibility to elect leaders who will make sure Black America’s outlook for tomorrow is even more promising. That way we will know, and have a say so in who is minding our rights.

Gdr-03/15/2015

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Writer’s Block

IMG_0076From time to time I lose my motivation to write. When I attend the writers group meetings, I gain inspiration that helps me to find new content. Not only is attending writers group meetings a way to help cure writer’s block, but you are able to discuss the problem with other writers. You’d be surprised at how many good writers have had to overcome writer’s block. You are likely to benefit from listening to the techniques they may have used to jump-start their writing efforts.

There are also books that contain helpful hints for starting writing projects. I recently purchased 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, written by Marcie Hill. This book has helped me to get started on writing projects that I had pushed aside. For me, Marcie’s book provided the “kick” I needed to start reviewing those drafts. I was motivated to polish up content that I can now use for my blog, for Open Mic presentations, or to create inspirational posters. Even published authors can benefit from the material covered in 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block.

If you are in a writing slump, try writing about what may have attributed to your writer’s block. The thought process will help you to move forward. You can then share your experience with other writers who may need inspiration.

Writing is a platform from which you can reach people, and inspire positive change. We are all connected by words–use yours creatively to uplift the world.

Unblock your creativity!

The book I mentioned is an excellent tool for writers. For more information, visit marciehill.com.

gdr

Book:
62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, by Marcie Hill

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Shelter From the Storm

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Whether your “shelter from the storm” is ritzy rich, comfy cosy, or just a little shabby–be ever grateful for it.

Gdr-2015

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